• Yang Zhao

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Identification and expression analysis of primary auxin-responsive Aux/IAA gene family in cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

      Defang Gan Dan Zhuang Fei Ding Zhenzhou Yu Yang Zhao

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      Aux/IAA is an important gene family involved in many aspects of growth and development. Aux/IAA proteins are short-lived nuclear proteins that are induced primarily by various phytohormones. In this study, 29 Aux/IAA family genes (CsIAA01–CsIAA29) were identified and characterized in cucumber, including gene structures, phylogenetic relationships, conserved protein motifs and chromosomal locations. These genes show distinct organizational patterns of their putative motifs. The distributions of the genes vary: except for five CsIAA genes in cucumber that were not located, seven CsIAA genes were found on scaffold, while the other 17 CsIAA genes were distributed on seven other chromosomes. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of the Aux/IAA protein sequences from cucumber, Arabidopsis and other plants, the Aux/IAA genes in cucumber were categorized into seven subfamilies. To investigate whether the expression of CsIAA genes is associated with auxin induction, their transcript levels were monitored in seedlings treated with IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), and their expression patterns were analysed by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results showed that 11/29 CsIAA genes were expressed in leaves whether treated with IAA or not and the time course of processing and compared with the control, five CsIAA genes showed low expression only after 60 min treatment with IAA, while 11 genes showed no expression. These results provide useful information for further functional analysis of Aux/IAA gene family in cucumber.

    • Identification and characterization of the RCI2 gene family in maize (Zea mays)

      Yang Zhao Haiqing Tong Ronghao Cai Xiaojian Peng Xiaoyu Li Defang Gan Suwen Zhu

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      Rare-cold-inducible (RCI2) genes are structurally conserved members that encode small, highly hydrophobic proteins involved in response to various abiotic stresses. Phylogenetic and functional analyses of these genes have been conducted in Arabidopsis, but an extensive investigation of the RCI2 gene family has not yet been carried out in maize. In the present study, 10 RCI2 genes were identified in a fully sequenced maize genome. Structural characterization and expression pattern analysis of 10 ZmRCI2s (Zea mays RCI2 genes) were subsequently determined. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses indicated that ZmRCI2s are highly conserved, and most of them could be grouped with their orthologues from other organisms. Chromosomal location analysis indicated that ZmRCI2s were distributed unevenly on seven chromosomes with two segmental duplication events, suggesting that maize RCI2 gene family is an evolutionarily conserved family. Putative stress-responsive cis-elements were detected in the 2-kb promoter regions of the 10 ZmRCI2s. In addition, the 10 ZmRCI2s showed different expression patterns in maize development based on transcriptome analysis. Further, microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that each maize RCI2 genes were responsive to drought stress, suggesting their important roles in drought stress response. The results of this work provide a basis for future cloning and application studies of maize RCI2 genes.

    • Genomewide identification, classification and analysis of NAC type gene family in maize

      Xiaojian Peng Yang Zhao Xiaoming Li Min Wu Wenbo Chai Lei Sheng Yu Wang Qing Dong Haiyang Jiang Beijiu Cheng

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      NAC transcription factors comprise a large plant-specific gene family. Increasing evidence suggests that members of this family have diverse functions in plant growth and development. In this study, we performed a genomewide survey of NAC type genes in maize (Zea mays L.). A complete set of 148 nonredundant NAC genes (ZmNAC1–ZmNAC148) were identified in the maize genome using Blast search tools, and divided into 12 groups (a–l) based on phylogeny. Chromosomal location of these genes revealed that they are distributed unevenly across all 10 chromosomes. Segmental and tandem duplication contributed largely to the expansion of the maize NAC gene family. The 𝐾a/𝐾s ratio suggested that the duplicated genes of maize NAC family mainly experienced purifying selection, with limited functional divergence after duplication events. Microarray analysis indicated most of the maize NAC genes were expressed across different developmental stages. Moreover, 19 maize NAC genes grouped with published stress-responsive genes from other plants were found to contain putative stress-responsive cis-elements in their promoter regions. All these stress-responsive genes belonged to the group d (stress-related). Further, these genes showed differential expression patterns over time in response to drought treatments by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Our results reveal a comprehensive overview of the maize NAC, and form the foundation for future functional research to uncover their roles in maize growth and development.

    • Genomewide analysis of MATE-type gene family in maize reveals microsynteny and their expression patterns under aluminum treatment


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      Multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) proteins are a group of secondary active transporters, which widely exist in all living organisms and play important role in the detoxication of endogenous secondary metabolites and exogenous agents. However, to date, no systematic and comprehensive study of this family is reported in maize. Here, a total of 49 MATE genes (ZmMATE) were identified and divided into seven groups by phylogenetic analysis. Conserved intro–exon structures and motif compositions were investigated in these genes. Results by gene locations indicated that these genes were unevenly distributed among all 10 chromosomes. Tandem and segmental duplications appeared to contribute to the expansion and evolution of this gene family. The Ka / Ks ratios suggested that the ZmMATE has undergone large-scale purifying selection on the maize genome. Interspecies microsynteny analysis revealed that there were independent gene duplication events of 10 ZmMATE. In addition, most maize MATE genes exhibited different expression profiles in diverse tissues and developmental stages. Sixteen MATE genes were chosen for further quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed differential expression patterns in response to aluminum treatment. These results provide a useful clue for future studies on the identification of MATE genes and functional analysis of MATE proteins in maize

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